It's tough to put a finger on how best to describe Panini America's new 2011-12 Past & Present Basketball until you -- literally -- put a finger on it. After all, no matter how revealing and enticing and scene-setting even the most captivating mock-ups can be, there's a whole new sensation when those mock-ups become real in the palm of your hand.
It’s tough to put a finger on how best to describe Panini America’s new 2011-12 Past & Present Basketball until you — literally — put a finger on it. After all, no matter how revealing and enticing and scene-setting even the most captivating mock-ups can be, there’s a whole new sensation when those mock-ups become real in the palm of your hand.
I was lucky enough to experience that sensation yesterday while perusing some of the cards uncovered during the recent Quality Control process. Simply, there’s a tactile dimension to many of Past & Present’s inserts — most notably Changing Times, Raining 3s and Breakout — that must be touched to be truly appreciated. But the product, out everywhere next week, is more than just tangible textures and visually arresting print technologies. A lot more.
2011-12 Past & Present Basketball is an eclectic mesh of current NBA superstars and all-time greats on a vibrantly hued, throwback design that pays homage to yesteryear with base-set variations, and Bread for Health, Bread for Energy and Bread for Life diecut inserts.
Each box delivers three autographs and one memorabilia card; but it’s the autograph checklist, particularly the aptly named Elusive Ink insert, that will likely generate the most buzz among hardcore collectors. The ambitious Elusive Ink idea was to target those players who’ve never appeared on a certified autograph trading card or haven’t appeared on one in quite some time.
To that end, the Panini America Acquisitions team landed the first-ever certified autographs of Bo Outlaw, Anthony Mason, Scooter McCray and Marv Roberts and the second-ever certified autographs of LaBradford Smith, Willie Burton, Kevin Willis and Major Jones.
Finally, Past & Present also marks the beginning of Panini America’s Dual Rookie Redemption program with randomly inserted redemptions good for the first cards of the top draft picks from the 2011-12 and 2012-13 classes.
Clearly, there’s a lot to digest with 2011-12 Past & Present Basketball. So between now and when the product goes live next Wednesday, take some quality time to soak it in with the following gallery and the first extensive look at this unique product. (Stay tuned after the gallery for complete Past & Present checklist.)
And now, the checklist: 2011-12 Past & Present Checklist